The communicative masks being demonstrated to the fish sellers, Source: Ayuntamiento de Zaragoza

Zaragoza distributes masks that break communication barriers

Zaragoza distributes masks that break communication barriers

These masks aid lip reading

In a show of support for people with hearing disabilities, authorities from the city of Zaragoza distributed specially designed transparent masks to the retailers working at the local fish market. This was done last week in collaboration with the Association of Cochlear Implants of Spain and as a show of support and understanding that the new realities of contemporary life pose new barriers to people with different handicaps.

The masks are safe and certified

Many people with hearing difficulties, apart from sign language, also have the ability to communicate by reading lips, which is a skill needed when interacting with the wider public. The imposition of face masks, however, has placed an obstacle in that regard until special masks were designed featuring a transparent window where the mouth is.

"From the first moment the Cochlear Implants Association communicated this need to us, we were very interested in retailers having the masks. This simple element makes life easier for customers with hearing problems and protects everyone, one of the maxims of this Department since the pandemic had started," explained Carmen Herrarte, Councilor of Economy, Innovation and Employment in the Zaragoza government.

The communicative mask was designed to have a 4-layer fabric outer part and a transparent central window that allows the mouth to be seen, facilitating understanding through lip reading. This feature comes as a great support in interacting with other people especially when one has a hearing problem. The communicative masks are also washable and reusable.

When a person with special communication needs approaches, the retailer will put on the new mask, and attend to him or her so that the customer can know everything that is being talked about. Once the purchase is finished, the seller will be able to continue working with his usual protection.

And what is best, these masks will allow for the smiles to be seen once again on people’s faces.



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